The Ontario Superior Court told truckers and other protesters demonstrating on the bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan that they had to leave or face being arrested and having their vehicles seized
Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz issued the ruling on Friday and gave the truckers until 7pm local time to move.
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The decision was made after more than four hours of a virtual hearing on complaints by the city of Windsor and auto parts makers, who said the blockade was hurting their business.
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RT reports: The protests at the busiest US-Canada border crossing, which accounts for more than a quarter of trade between the two countries, caused traffic to come to a grinding halt.
Earlier on Friday, Ontario declared a state of emergency over the blockade, giving police sweeping powers to detain and fine demonstrators refusing to disperse, with Premier Doug Ford declaring that it is “illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods.”
Those who defy the order can face steep fines of up to $100,000 and one year behind bars.
The protesters have so far defied the order
According to a BBC report the atmosphere was like a disco as the police gathered:
Less than an hour before the injunction took effect on Friday, the protesters at the Ambassador Bridge had a vote.
Do they obey the court order to vacate the roads? Or do they keep their trucks and automobiles in park, and stand their ground?
The vote – by a resounding cry of “Freedom!” – was clear: they’re not going anywhere.
That leaves the ball in law enforcement’s court. As of 21:00 local time, no arrests had been made and no fines issued. The blockade has cost millions of dollars in lost trade each day; during the court proceedings, representatives from the automotive industry, who have several plants in the area and rely on shipping parts back and forth across the border, estimated the Windsor blockade had cost them about C$600m since it began.
The crowd had grown since the afternoon and the atmosphere grew merrier – pop music blared on the speakers, while a spluttering traffic light provided an almost disco-like atmosphere.
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